Grabbing the Rheingold by the horns

Nottingham performers on the train to London

Nottingham performer Jeremy Bartys writes about his experiences performing excerpts from Das Rheingold at the Southbank Centre:

On Tuesday 28 June, members of the Streetwise Opera Nottingham Explore Group grabbed the Rheingold by the horns, and delivered an outstanding masterpiece performance of Wagner's opera.

In a very tight time schedule, members of the Streetwise Opera Nottingham crew jumped off a train arriving in London at 2.15pm, got on and off two very crowded and claustrophobic tubes, and arrived at the Southbank Centre gasping for a cups of teas and pints of water! The exhausted travellers barely had time to catch our breath before workshop leaders Neil and Tim warmed us up, stretching our vocal chords to the maximum, 'eeing' and 'rring', huffing and puffing, deeply breathing and clearing our lungs. We then delivered our very best performance to date, with outstanding solo performances wowing the crowds of the Southbank Centre.

Streetwise Opera Nottingham enjoyed watching Opera North's Das Rheingold afterwards. We learnt all about the gods and the secret to their eternal youth, and we met Alberich and witnessed how his thieving sets the whole saga in motion. The story is of how the all-powerful ring came to be forged, and how Alberich cursed the ring to become the most doomed and desired object in the whole world.

We had mixed reviews about the two hour performance. Despite it being very long, it was all very exciting and tense, and splendid and stunning to watch. I think the majority of my teammates at Streetwise Opera Nottingham gave it the thumbs up!

After the performance, we were well and truly cream-crackered and ready for dropping off into our splendid London accomodation in Camden.

Many thanks to our very own Pixie for staying up until 4am in the morning to hand-make remarkable crazy masks for us. The masks looked very frightening and surreal, not to mention scary - anyone would think Halloween had arrived four months early! Many thanks also to Neil, Tim, Anne, Jen, Saffron and all the lovely staff at Streetwise Opera London who helped and supported us at our rehearsals and performance.